Lawn Chair Catechism: June 20th, 2013

Posted: June 20, 2013 in Lawn Chair Catechism

I’d like to comment on the following quote about discipleship as it pertains to my parish and her priests.

The question is not, “Who can I persuade to fill this vacancy?”  The question is, “Who has God put in my parish, and what does He want them to do?”

 I received the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, The Holy Eucharist, and Marriage in the same parish I now attend– Saint Columba in Dothan, Alabama where I was born. My husband and I spent a couple of decades in other parishes before we came back to Dothan. Father Patrick Gallagher has been pastor here for twenty years. Father Patrick Maher had been here when I was a teenager and a few years ago returned  to retire. The question, ‘Who has God put in my parish and what does he want them to do,” is a question each of them would ask. These are priests led by the Holy Spirit–priests who, in our very multi-cultural parish, have managed to get across the message to us that each of us individually is in a love affair with God, that God loves us unconditionally, and when we love him back, there is a covenant.

Our covenant of love is not expressed by words, but action. Since God loves us, we return his love through our treatment of his children, those people we come into contact with every day. This interaction, in itself, changes people. It changes the doer and the receiver. To have an honest covenant with God, we have to see each person as sharing in his divinity along with ourselves. We have to see God in them and relate to God through them, and hopefully, they relate to us in the same way.

Parish ministry is one way to show our covenant with God, but God chooses the action He wants us to take. And if we communicate with him, open ourselves to His thought in prayer, He will lead us to discover what we are to do, who we are meant to be, and how we are to accomplish His goal. As Mother Theresa once said, we are the pencil in God’s hand.

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